Asthma inhalers are the first thing that will come to your mind when you look for an effective solution to control asthma. Because it gives you quick relief by delivering the medications directly to your lungs.
The saddest thing about asthma inhalers is that some people confess that inhaling asthma medications increases their body weight. Now, if you have asthma and are going to use asthma inhalers, you might want to know: do asthma inhalers cause weight gain?
The straight answer to this question is yes but it’s not the asthma inhalers that are responsible for your weight gain. Here in this article, I’ll explain this question and show you the exact reason behind your weight gain. Stick to the end of this article to get your desired answer.
About Asthma Inhalers
Asthma inhalers are the most powerful and commonly used medical device that has been used to deliver asthma medications to your lungs. When you search for asthma inhalers, you’ll find three different types of inhalers for asthma that work in different ways.
According to their characteristics, some asthma inhalers contain one medication and some contain two medications. Before getting your asthma inhaler you must consult with your healthcare provider or doctor.
After analyzing your asthma symptoms and doing some lung functionality tests, an asthma specialist will determine whether you need an inhaler or not if needed then which one.
Basically, there are three types of inhalers widely used for asthma treatment. They are Metered-dose, Dry-powder, and Soft mist inhalers.
1. Metered-Dose Inhalers
MDI or metered-dose inhalers are one of the most popular inhalers that are used for inhaling respiratory medicine. It’s a pressurized canister of asthma medicine that comes with a plastic holed and a mouthpiece. By spraying this inhaler on your mouth you’ll get a reliable and precise dose of medication. MDI inhaler is mostly used for dealing with breathing difficulty caused by asthma, COPD, and other respiratory issues.
2. Dry-powder inhalers
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology defines dry powder inhalers as a type of inhalers that are mostly used to deliver medications like inhaled corticosteroids into the lungs. They are classified as breath-activated medications. Just like metered-dose inhalers, to take the medicine you have to take a deep breath.
3. Soft mist inhalers
Soft mist inhalers deliver a slow-moving mist when you inhale. It contains a liquid form of medications almost similar to those used in nebulizers. This type of inhaler is great for small and narrow-down airways. The great thing about this inhaler is it has an indicator that shows you how many doses are remaining on the inhalers.
What Drugs Are In The Inhaler?
As there are different types of inhalers, they contain different types of drugs. Some inhalers contain steroids type medication such as prednisone to reduce inflammation. And, some other inhalers contain bronchodilators that help to open up the narrow airways. Besides, some of the inhalers contain both of these drugs or medications. They are known as combination inhalers.
Let’s find out what types of inhalers contain what types of drugs.
Anti-Inflammatory Asthma Inhalers: This type of inhaler is used for preventing asthma attacks and reducing the mucus and swelling in your airways. The drugs they include:
- Steroids ( Aerospace, Qvar, Asmanex, Pulmicort, Flovent)
- Mast Cell Stabilizers (Cromolyn Sodium)
Bronchodilator Asthma Inhalers: This type of inhaler is used to widening your airways to reduce the symptoms of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, etc. The drugs they include:
- Short-acting beta-agonists (Proventil HFA, ProAir HFA, Xopenex, Ventolin HFA)
- Long-acting beta-agonists. (Serevent, Foradil). Moreover, the combination inhalers contain both a steroid that included Symbicort, dulera, advair, and a long-acting beta-agonist.
- Duoneb and Combivent inhalers contain both ipratropium and albuterol.
Do Asthma Inhalers Cause Weight Gain?
An inhaler is a potent medical device that delivers asthma medications to the lungs to reduce the symptoms of asthma. It’s a life-saving tool that can help you a lot when you fall into an asthma attack.
Most asthma inhalers contain specific amounts of steroids, and weight gain is a common side effects of steroid inhalers. However, if you have an asthma problem and start using inhalers to control your asthma, you might want to know: do asthma inhalers cause weight gain? Well, asthma and weight gain become interrelated when you start using asthma inhalers to control it.
Let me tell you how:
Most of us consider that sitting on a couch for a longer period and overeating unhealthy food is a common suspect of weight gain. But most of us don’t know that there is an additional factor that can promote weight gain for people who have asthma. I’m talking about asthma medication.
Whether you take a pill or inhaler, specific amounts of steroids are contained in every asthma medication. And, weight gain is a common side effect of taking steroids. “According to Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, there is a proven link between weight gain and oral steroids.”
The reason is pretty simple; when you consume steroids, it increases your hunger or appetite. Steroids also increase the glucose level in your blood that causes metabolic changes in your body. Consequently, the asthma patient falls into a weight gaining risk, sometimes even developing diabetics.
On the other hand, there is another unhealthy cycle that’s interrelated with asthma and weight gain. Most people with asthma are unwilling to do exercise as they think it might trigger their asthma symptoms. The lack of exercise will naturally increase your weight gain.
Besides, exercise becomes so hard for you once you get overweight because it’ll put more pressure on your lungs and cause breathing difficulty. So, consult your doctor, make your asthma action plan and do your physical activity and breathing exercise. You can also use a drug-free breathing training device to enhance your lung capacity.
Simple Tips For Avoiding Weight Gain
When you have asthma and take asthma medication like inhalers, there is a high possibility of increasing your weight. So if you want to avert weight gain, the first and foremost task is to eat less. It’s not as easy as I said but cutting back is really important.
Although it’s challenging for most of us to go hungry, you need to cope with that if you don’t want to increase your weight. There are some easy ways through which you can prevent weight gain while taking asthma medications. Have a look at the below section to know some of the easiest ways:
1. Eat More Veggies
Eating crunchy and water-filled veggies, like carrots or celery is an excellent choice to maintain a healthy weight. Eat them when you feel hungry so that you can mitigate your hunger without increasing your body weight. In case any of the food groups trigger your asthma symptoms, consult with your nutritionist to make a proper diet plan.
2. Add Whole Grains In Your Foodstuffs
As a health-conscious person, you might worry about crabs. But when you include whole grains in your foodstuff, you don’t have to worry about that. Remember, if all that you ate were whole grain bread or brown rice, you can eat more without being worried about weight gain.
3. Be Selective With Flavorings
You must be selective with your flavorings as they could increase your weight. For jazzing up your veggies you may usually use dips/other flavorings, instead of that you can try low fat (marinara sauce) or salsa. Other best alternatives include yogurt and hummus.
4. Drink Enough Water
Don’t keep your body dehydrated, it won’t be beneficial for your weight loss program. Rather your thirst will make you more hungry and you may consume more food. Drink a sufficient amount of water. Another best practice for keeping yourself hydrated is drinking green or herbal tea. It will make you feel full and loaded. As a result, you’ll eat less food.
5. Consume Less Fat
The divine truth about fat is that the more you consume it the more you get overweight. So if you want to prevent your weight gain then you must skip fatty food. For example, you can eat baked potatoes or air-popped popcorn along with yogurt instead of chips. Make sure you eat spices and herbs to flavor your food instead of consuming butter and cream.
6. Follow Proper Diet
A proper diet is necessary if you’re on a weight loss program or want to prevent weight gain. For this, you can consult with nutrition and make a proper diet plan. This will help you to understand what food or what amount you can consume without increasing your weight.
7. Do Physical Exercise
Most asthma patients are afraid to do physical exercise as they think it’ll trigger their asthma symptoms. It’s true that for some people the intensity of exercise may accelerate asthma symptoms. But there are some safe exercises that you can do without triggering your asthma symptoms.
Remember exercise is very important if you want to prevent yourself from weight gain. Along with your physical activity to control your asthma, it’s better to do some breathing exercises. It’ll improve your breathing technique by increasing your lung capacity.
Increasing your body weight is a common side effect of taking asthma inhalers. Although the asthma inhaler directly itself isn’t responsible for your weight gain, it promotes other things that increase your body weight. In most asthma inhalers, there is a portion of steroids contained as asthma medications. Steroids increase your appetite, and you eat more because of it. Therefore if you don’t control your hunger, your weight will increase.
Besides, lack of physical activity and exercise is also responsible for weight gain. Now that we are at the end of this article, I believe you already know why do asthma inhalers cause weight gain and how you can prevent weight gain? To conclude this article, I would like to remind you again that a balanced diet, physical activity, and breathing exercise will help you prevent weight gain and control your asthma.